Oui, Madame

So we’re halfway through January already (almost). The Christmas break now feels like a distant dream. But, that means that payday is slowly but surely approaching – yay!

After the pictures of the handsome husbeast last week, I’m afraid you’re back to pictures of me – soz. But I have made a pretty cool shirt 🙂 Those of you that are regular readers will know that I’m on a quest to make a perfectly fitting one.

Spoiler alert: I’m still quest-ing, but making progress.

I’ve made another Vogue/DKNY V1462, this time raising the armscye to see if it improves the fit. It does, BUT not enough to solve all my problems –  I’m still getting these little pull lines under the armpit (see those, in the picture below?). This means one thing and one thing only – Too Much Boobage For The Pattern, also more eloquently known as Full Bust Adjustment Required.


I’ve been delving into t’internet and reading up on different methods and approaches. I’ve discovered that FBAs can be darted, or dartless. Either way, it seems I’m gonna end up with more width in the bodice. Am I cool with that? I’m not sure. I have quite a small waist in comparison to my hips, and having loads of fabric around my middle is not normally something I go for. I may have to start slimming side seams a bit here.

I found this tutorial from Paprika with instructions on how to go about doing a dartless FBA… This V1462 is a dartless shirt, and I’m not sure whether I really fancy adding a dart in because I sort of prefer the cleaner lines without it –  but I don’t want to add too much fabric in either. I want a shirt, not a tent or a maternity top.

But on the other hand, I don’t want the shirt to be TOO fitted. I want a happy medium. Ahh, the dramas. Let’s see how it works out. Fitted shirts, especially those with princess seams just scream ‘office formal’ to me even if they are made in awesome fabrics, so I don’t want to go down that road, even if that’s where my quest for a good fit takes me.

The fashion hell that is office formal wear :O

I just want a nice boyfriend shirt, that will comfortably fit my boobs but not be four times the size of my waist. And not make me look 10 years older than I am. I want to be able to wear a shirt to work without feeling like I’m wearing a shirt to work. That’s not too much to ask, surely?

This article (partly shown below) from Cashmerette has a pretty good approach to a darted FBA – you just follow steps 1-7 and you’re off. This is the approach I’m going to follow for my next version of this shirt, and see how it works out. I’m sticking with the same pattern because 1. It’s already traced and I know what I’m doing, and 2. I want to perfect the adjustment on one pattern where I know how it fits me before I start throwing new patterns into the mix.

Here’s the first few steps:

Doesn’t seem too bad… right? I can do this ??

DKNY V1462 Vogue shirt

So! Moving on to the actual shirt. It’s my trusty friend V1462. Collared and cuffed long sleeve shirt – my wardrobe staple. Usually worn slightly creased because I can’t be bothered to iron it. When I was looking at these photos, I realised how the skinny jeans I own do NOT suit me. Gah. I need a higher waist, and a not-so-spray-on calf. It’s pushing me towards getting into trouser-making so that I can make something that suits me because I only have one (one!) pair of jeans that I’m actually comfortable in. I’ve reached the point where I just can’t bring myself to spend three hours jeans shopping to come home empty-handed. I’m going to tackle the Gingers this year FO SHO, but first I’m gonna ease myself in with a pair of Burda trousers that I’ve seen and fallen in love with:

You gotta look past the awful styling, obvs ? And I might buy a cool set of braces rather than make them… because let’s be real these ones look a bit naff.

I’m interested to see how a looser leg looks/feels on me… I’m loving that high waist and of course the braces – it’s just like my Madeline skirt, but – well – trousers instead of a skirt.

Victory Patterns Madeline Skirt and V1462 Liberty Vogue DKNY Shirt

In my mind, that wide and high waistband is going to balance out how big my hips will probably look, but reality may prove to be very different and the pleats on the front may not play well with my stomach. I’m picturing the look in my head as a 30’s aesthetic, with rolled up sleeves and a vintage turban. And perhaps my Dr Martens.

I keep looking at the Esther trousers by Victory Patterns, which have a similar pleated leg to these – but haven’t taken the plunge because of the fact they may look totally hideous on me. If these Burda Bad Boys are successful I may take that leap and never look back, which would be awesome. Either way, I’m keeping these pictures of my skinny jeans in my mind as my motivation to get my arse in gear and start sewing trousers, the same way as I’d keep a fat picture on the biscuit tin to stop me from scoffing the lot. There’s a humongous trouser-shaped hole in my sewing that needs to be filled. That goes for both me and the husband.

But, I digress. Again. The cotton that the shirt is made from is a medium-weight cotton, more of an autumn-winter shirt as it’s thicker than a cotton lawn – just a little thinner than a quilting cotton.  It’s a little out of my comfort zone, colour wise – WHITE, SO MUCH WHITE – but I couldn’t resist the print! It’s got posh ladies all over it, in their posh frocks striking posh-lady poses.

I still can’t quite get my collars to meet in the centre above the top button… I follow the markings on the collar stand pieces but never seem to get it to work! I nailed it on my silk shirt that I made recently from this same pattern, but I’ve no idea how – total fluke…

I used my usual method of bias tape for the hem – yep, this is probably more time-consuming than pressing and stitching (in fact, it definitely is) but I kind of enjoy it. I’m nerdy like that – I love slowing the whole process down and taking my time over something. It also helps that I can actually get round the curved hem properly with bias tape, because I literally can’t for the life of me get anything that doesn’t resemble a total shambles by pressing it.

I also really love the cuff placket on this pattern – it’s one of those ones where you cut a slit in the sleeve and install it, so it’s a totally separate pattern piece to the sleeve. On the shirt pattern I use for the husband (V8759) the placket is part of the sleeve piece, which is really annoying because you then can’t french seam the sleeve as it turns into the placket towards the cuff :/ I haven’t yet figured out a way to finish those seams nicely yet on his shirts, which feels really weird and unfinished for a Vogue pattern. And frustrates me to the max because it looks rubbish on the inside.

Despite the boob-issues, I’m a happy bunny with my shirt – and it breaks up the very red-pink-purple trend in my wardrobe.

This was actually my December Minerva Crafts make – I’ve got a little bit out of sync with my posts so I’m now catching up! You can read more about the shirt if you head on over to my full post on the Minerva Crafts Blog – enjoy!

PS – before you go…

You may have seen my recent post on social media regarding a Q&A blog post I’m going to be doing over the next few weeks – long story short, I get all sorts of questions from you lovely people and I thought it’d be a good idea to consolidate them all into one place. So… fire your questions at me and I’ll include them in the post! It could be to do with sewing, blogging, social media, blog photography, hair dye tips or about me… go for it! Post your questions in the comments below, don’t be shy 🙂




Coming up next week on the Wanderstitch blog… the coat you’ve all been waiting for, after I teased you on social media with the sneak peeks! ? Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss out! 


Enter your email address below to receive fabulous new posts direct to your inbox! No spam ever, just awesome sewing stuff for you to enjoy.

Shop the WanderStitch Studio store

60’s black and white faces large bag
Skeletons in Love large bag
Dr Who Tardis large bag
Retro Super Mario large bag
Pokemon Pikachu Large bag
Wonder Woman Large bag
Batman Bat Sign Large bag
black lipstick large bag
Ninja turtles large bag
Black Skulls Large bag
Red skulls large bag
Grey skulls large bag
Nightmare before Christmas large bag
Nightmare before christmas large bag
Nightmare before Christmas large bag
Galaxy cat large bag
Star Wars C3PO washbag
Legend of Zelda washbag
Beauty and The Beast washbag


  1. January 14, 2018 / 9:26 am

    Once you admit the FBA is needed, darts are going to happen! You could always swing bust and waist dart suppression into one medium sized French dart- being angled from boob to low waist might mean it’s less obvious to your eagle eye and disturbs your patterns less? Very couture!
    I like your posh ladies- I keep pondering making something covered in Alexander Henry pinups, but it’s probably NSFW, being a lecturer lol. I made the missus an AH rock chick cushion as an early courting gift, she was tickled pink. Top result, given that she’s decidedly brown lol

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      Haha, Alexander Henry fabric is awesome – a shirt would look fabulous! But yes, maybe NSFW… although I personally would love to see a lecturer wearing something that’s not your standard Boring Lecturer Uniform! It would certainly hold interest I’m sure 🙂

      Yes, a french dart could be a possibility… either way I think I’m gonna need to be taking some width out of the waist. Damn boobs lol.

  2. Alison
    January 14, 2018 / 9:42 am

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me. I’m one of those people who has tons of questions but if you ask me if I have any questions my mind goes blank ?. However, as I am typing this a question has popped into my head: do you prefer patterns from big pattern houses such as Vogue, Burda etc or do you prefer indie designers and why?

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      Ahh thanks Alison, I’m so pleased that you enjoy the blog! Thanks for your question – I’ll be adding that into the post! 🙂

  3. Cindy
    January 14, 2018 / 1:39 pm

    You are my Sunday morning guilty half hour, pot of tea, China cup and saucer , buttered teacake and your stories, I admire your perfection rule, and the time you will allow to achieve it, even though you work full time, your other half must be the best dressed chap in the office, as you are too I’m sure. Keep up the great works. I so want to improve my sewing, but at 60, time is running out….

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      I’m so glad that you enjoy the posts! I love that I form a part of your Sunday mornings 🙂 60 is the best time to be improving! You get to retire soon (if you haven’t already), and you can spend your days however your heart pleases. I’m hoping that one day, my full time job can be sewing related… fingers crossed!
      Are you sewing anything at the moment?

  4. Natalie Sagert
    January 14, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    Love reading your posts and seeing your work. You’re amazingly talented. As to the fba, maybe think about trying Nancy Zieman’s method of doing this. I realize you know what you’re doing and do it very well, but Nancy’s version of fba works so much better from me. I am an odd shape – very narrow shoulders, double d cup ridiculousness and big ole birthing hips 1 to 2 sizes bigger than top sizes or pattern sizes. NZ’s method works so well for me, I was shocked. And it’s super simple too. Just a thought.

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Ahh thank you Natalie! I’m so glad you enjoy them 🙂 I’m not familiar with Nancy’s method, so I will defintely check this out thank you! You say you’re an odd shape, just yesterday I was measuring my bust, waist and hips and comparing to a pattern – my bust was one size, my waist the next size up from that and then my hips one size up further still! (Love the phrase big ole birthing hips btw!!!)
      I’m now off to check out her FBA method – thank you for the tip! 🙂

  5. January 14, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    I was also going to recommend a french dart. Like you, I really don’t like the look of darts as they really seem to break things up especially in a patterned fabric, but a french dart looks much better to me and doesn’t seem to disturb the pattern as much. And even with DDD/E cup I can still get quite a bit of that extra fabric out from around the waist using the french dart.

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 9:05 pm

      Ah, thanks Jenny! Yes, I think I might have a look into french darts – like you say, regular darts just seem to play havoc with patterns! I think I’m gonna need to take some of that fabric out from the waist, as there’s more than enough there already without adding in yet more with one of these FBAs! Thanks for the tip – will do some research!

  6. Celia
    January 14, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    Beautiful shirt Sarah! Amazing pattern matching down the front!

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 9:06 pm

      Thanks Celia! Pattern matching used to quite scare me, but I think I’ve got the hang of it now!

  7. January 15, 2018 / 1:01 am

    That pattern matching is the tits. Also, you read my mind with this post. I am looking for the perfect collared shirt pattern (complete with collar stand) that I can wear buttoned right up to the top. Mine will be short sleeved though, because Australia. I don’t want princess seams because I want to use OTT prints without seams through them.

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      Ahh thanks Katie 🙂 I think I’ve got the pattern matching down now, it used to always blow my mind thinking about it but I think I’ve finally mastered it! Buttoned up to the top is the *only* way I wear my shirts – open collars just feel a little bit too ‘blousey’ for me. And what is the deal with collars that don’t have collar stands?? I recently made the Bruyere by Deer and Doe, and it didn’t have a collar stand. WHYYYYYY. I have to sort of fold the collar down over itself to make it fit right, and there’s no place for a top button. It’s just weird.
      Like you I don’t want too many seams messing with my crazy fabrics! I’m gonna keep on making ’em until I get one that fits. Surely the perfect fit for me exists out there somewhere!

  8. Beckyjopdx
    January 15, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    le sigh. I don’t know what’s going on with Feedly but it’s not posting my comments through. Argh, I say.

    I’m Team Princess Seams 4-evah. Well, maybe never say forever, but for FBA, it sure makes things easy and lazy. I can just cut at bust size up top, which will also accommodate my shoulders, then grade down a size or two for waist, then back out usually half size to full for hips…after adding my usual 1″ length above natural waist. It’s nice in princess seams because the grading is nicely distributed for me. The only time this has backfired severely, meaning my Lazy FBA, is when I tried it on a cup-based pattern. I cut my measurements + my cup size + added my inch in length above natural waist during a pattern test and according to what the designer wished me to do…and the bust darts were hilariously high. Not going to name names, but the distribution of height for size was way off…granted it was on a 5’6″ sloper and I’m 5’9″, but it was comical. My boobs were apparently supposed to be coming out of my armpits.

    I spotted that Burda pattern too! I love the Merry Widow-esque waist. I’d look ridiculous in braces at my age – much less eccentric and more geriatric 😀 but I do love it without… I’ve been thinking of drafting pants similar, but with the waist influenced more by McCalls M6993, view A. https://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6993

    • Sarah
      January 15, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      Team Princess Seams hey… I don’t *mind* princess seams, as such… they just interrupt my patterns! I made the Deer and Doe Bleuet dress, which is a shirtdress with princess seams, and while it did give a fabulous fit I was only able to pattern match across the button placket and not across the seams. Which bothered me a little… But I will definitely agree that it’s super easy to tailor something to your shape using them!
      With my shirts though, I like a boyfriend fit. Smart-casual. I would have thought that a looser fit shirt would have automatically accomodated any boobage, but NO, apparently not. It’s giving me all sorts of problems. *sigh*.
      The M7373 coat that I’ve made before (and am currently making again) has cup sized pieces, this sort of worked out for me but I think I cut a size or two smaller than my actual bra size – weird.
      The jury’s out on whether these Burda trousers are going to look any good on me – I have a feeling that I’m either going to absolutely LOVE them, or they are going to be the most hideous item of clothing I’ve ever put on my body. lol. I really do love the waist on the M6993 skirt you mentioned – it’s gorgeous! It would look fab on a pair of high waisted trousers! (But, effort to draft yourself – I think I’m too lazy for that lol so will just admire yours instead!)

  9. January 27, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    Amazing pattern matching! I’ll be interested in your FBA results as I’m looking at needing to do the same if I make any non stretch tops whilst feeding my little dude… I’m keen to see what the Nancy Z method is too. This is why I love blogs, I enjoy reading and learning from the comments almost as much as the content. Stay awesome lady!

    • Sarah
      January 29, 2018 / 1:51 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I love the comments too, you learn so much! I had a quick look into Nancy’s method but there doesn’t seem to be any info online – it’s all in her book, so I might buy this from Amazon as a bit of bedtime reading 🙂

  10. Natalie Sagert
    January 28, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    Sorry, didn’t see your reply, but I’m always amused at the way you describe your body…you look pretty darn perfect to me =) I’d be interested to know if you try Nancy’s method and if it works for you. I’ve tried other things which were better but not great, but once I was introduced to her method people actually started commenting on how perfectly my clothes fit. Like, who notices that? And it’s so easy. Anyway, I love reading your posts and seeing your beautiful work. Your choice of fabric and your precision is exquisite. I’m planning a visit home to the UK in April and one of your posts reminded me that I have to go back to Goldhawk Road. It’s been forever. Have you ever visited Borovicks in Soho? You’ll die if you haven’t.

    • Sarah
      January 30, 2018 / 5:53 pm

      Haha, I guess we are the worse critics of our bodies aren’t we! Over the years though I have come to be more forgiving… and accepting my body for the amazing machine that it actually is.
      I was looking in to Nancy’s method, but I couldn’t seem to find anything online – is it all in her book, do you know? If so I might snaffle a copy of that off Amazon.
      I’m really glad you enjoy the blog! Ohhh yes do go back to Goldhawk Road! I’d like to go back, but I promised myself I wouldn’t go again until I’d used up what I bought last time… and that, erm *cough* hasn’t happened yet lol. Nooo I don’t think I have been to Borovicks… but you know I’m going to have to go now!!

I love reading your comments and thoughts - talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Fabulous handmade gifts available in my Etsy store!

Caticorn book sleeve
Stars Zip Pouch
Galaxy Cat Book sleeve
Asian Manga bag
Halloween Cat bag
Rainbow Cat book sleeve
Leopard book sleeve
Rainbow gem bag
Pink and metallic gold bag
Glow in the dark constellations bag
Halloween Cat Book Sleeve
Caticorn book sleeve
Stars Zip Pouch
Galaxy Cat Book sleeve
Asian Manga bag
Halloween Cat bag
Rainbow Cat book sleeve
Leopard book sleeve
Rainbow gem bag
Pink and metallic gold bag
Glow in the dark constellations bag
Halloween Cat Book Sleeve
Shop Now